How to Remove Iron Ore Stains

Things You'll Need

  • Citric acid

  • Scrubbing brush

  • Lemon juice or white vinegar

  • Salt

  • Embroidery hoop

  • Boiling water

Iron ore -- otherwise known as rust -- is among the most pervasive of stains. It seems to appear like magic on porcelain bathroom and kitchen fixtures, and can leave its imprint behind on fabric and other surfaces as well. If you put an iron object on anything that subsequently gets wet, chances are you will get a rust stain. Knowing how to remove iron ore stains is therefore crucial to maintaining spotless surfaces in your home.

Porcelain Fixtures and Ceramic Tile Surface Stains

Step 1

Drain the water from a toilet by turning off the refill valve and then flushing the toilet to remove the water in the bowl. If the stain is on a sink, tub or tile, ignore this step.

Step 2

Dampen the surface over the rust stain with water.

Step 3

Sprinkle citric acid -- available in the canning supplies section of your grocery store -- over the stain and let it set for at least 30 minutes. On vertical surfaces, it may work better to dampen a paper towel and sprinkle the citric acid on that, then place the towel/acid poultice against the surface stain to keep the acid where it belongs.

Step 4

Scrub the surface with a toilet brush, scrub brush or toothbrush as appropriate.

Step 5

Rinse with clean water. Repeat as necessary.

Fabric Stains

Step 1

Dampen the fabric with clean water.

Step 2

Sprinkle table salt over the stain and pour lemon juice or white vinegar on top the salt.

Step 3

Allow the mixture of lemon juice or vinegar and salt to sit for 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 4

Stretch the stained area of cloth onto an embroidery hoop and prop it up in your sink or bath tub so that it sits a few inches above the bottom.

Step 5

Pour boiling water slowly over the stain allowing it to penetrate the taut cloth through the weave.

Step 6

Wash and rinse the garment as usual. Repeat the procedure if necessary, but do not dry the fabric until the stain is gone or it may set and be more difficult to remove.


Lemon juice makes an acceptable substitute for citric acid, though you may need to scrub harder as it is not as concentrated. recommends using commercial stain removal chemicals or a pumice stone and old-fashioned elbow-grease to remove very stubborn stains from sinks, toilets, tubs and similar hard surfaces.

If milder methods fail on fabric, try naval jelly. Apply to the stain and rub it in, then launder as usual.

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